Can you eat a lot and still lose weight?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat a lot and still lose weight? We will discuss how eating adequately can help you stay healthy and lose weight. 

FCan you eat a lot and still lose weight?

Sure, you can eat a lot and still lose weight, but it all depends on the type of foods that you want to eat (1), or even how hungry you feel (2).

If you want to lose weight, Instead of keeping processed sugars, trans and saturated fats, at hand, resort to fresh fruits and vegetables (1). No matter where you live, eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important (3).

With the consumption of fruits and vegetables, you are getting fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds that are necessary for your body to stay healthy, with less calorie intake(4).

While consuming processed sugars, and trans and saturated fats, which are present in most processed foods, you get high amounts of calories in a minimal amount of food, and health issues like dyslipidemia and hypertension, among others, may appear(5).

 Is consuming  fruits  and vegetables important for  losing weight?Yes, consuming fruits and vegetables is important to lose weight, but not because of the effect of consuming them, the association is because fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet (4).

Fruits and vegetables have water, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They are crucial components for your body to work in the right way(4), but you must know that there are nutritional differences between both, despite being healthy (6).

The main difference and concern if you are looking to lose weight, following the fruit and vegetable recommendations, is that when you consume vegetables the caloric intake is low, even though the same occurs with fruits, fruits had almost 250% more calories than vegetables (7), so, go on with the vegetables and be careful of eating too many fruits.

The consumption of fiber, which is part of fruits and vegetables, gives a person a feeling of fullness, which prevents recurring hunger and cravings (8), so they will stop you from reaching out to unhealthy foods to fill you up. 

Another important component of vegetables and fruits is water, which represents up to 80% of the fruits and vegetables’ composition, making them a great source of water, which is necessary for your metabolism (9)

 What types of food can you eat a lot and still lose weight?

The type of food that you can eat a lot and still lose weight would be based on the caloric density of it, which means making the right choices of the food you eat, it’s not about quantity it’s about quality (5).

You can divide the food according to its caloric density, from low density to high density, medium, and high density. The higher the density of calories in a food choice, the less you need to eat (10). 

-Low-density foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, of which you can and must eat five to nine servings daily, but remember mostly vegetables.

-Medium-density foods include starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes and lean proteins like fish and legumes.

-High-calorie foods include fats, sugars, junk foods, fried foods, chocolates, and cheeses that melt, these types of food include a lot of calories in less weight.

So, if you want to eat a lot of food and still lose weight, include a lot of low-density foods, mostly vegetables in your food every day, reduce moderate-caloric foods, and consume high-caloric ones to the minimum.

But remember that a healthy diet doesn’t mean only vegetables, it requires that your meals also include, cereals, legumes, protein (if not animal protein, mixing cereals and legumes would be enough), and healthy oils, like the ones present in nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, among others(3).

Must my calorie intake equal my calorie expenditure, to lose weight?

Your calorie intake must equal your calorie expenditure to lose weight, that’s true, but be careful about counting every calorie you consume, it might be an unpleasant path to weight loss (11).

If your calorie intake is above your calorie requirements, then your body would take that extra energy and store it as fat, so reducing the calorie intake or increasing your calorie expenditure shall be necessary (12).

To get an extra kg in your weight, an excess intake of 7,700 kcal had to be consumed (12), that´s like drinking 850 ml of cooking oil, so to lose one kg of your weight, you must have an accumulated deficit of the same amount of calories required to earn that extra kg.

Doing exercise to increase your energy expenditure or reducing your calorie intake are good decisions to lose weight, however, a recommendation would be(13), to do both at the same time and don’t try to cut off all kcal or burn all doing exercise in one day.

What is the right way to lose weight?

There´s no single answer to the right way to lose weight, the weight of a person is determined by many factors(14), of course following the recommendations of a healthy diet can be a good start (3).

A healthy diet and lifestyle consist in eating a variety of foods, eating whole grains, eating less fried foods, and also eating fruits and more vegetables, avoiding sweetened beverages, and staying active (5).

Be careful with online diets, if you are looking for something more specific than general recommendations , it must be designed by a nutritionist, who will assess you to establish an appropriate dietary intervention for your requirements.

Is exercise necessary for losing weight?

Exercise, besides being important for losing weight, is necessary to stay healthy. You may lose weight only by cutting calories and having meals with higher proportions of low-density foods, but exercise is also a booster for your health(15).

When you exercise you increase your energetic expenditure, improve your immune system, and lipid and glucose levels (16), so remember if you are looking to lose weight it’s not about just less kg in the balance it’s also about decreasing weight healthily.


In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat a lot and still lose weight? We discussed how eating adequately can help you stay healthy and lose weight.


1.  Paixão C, Dias CM, Jorge R, Carraça E V., Yannakoulia M, de Zwaan M, et al. Successful weight loss maintenance: A systematic review of weight control registries. Obesity Reviews [Internet]. 2020 May 1 [cited 2023 May 11];21(5):e13003.

2.  Kaur K, Jensen CD. Does hedonic hunger predict eating behavior and body mass in adolescents with overweight or obesity? [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 May 11];51(2):184–98.

3.  Herforth A, Arimond M, Álvarez-Sánchez C, Coates J, Christianson K, Muehlhoff E. A Global Review of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. Advances in Nutrition [Internet]. 2019 Jul 1 [cited 2023 May 11];10(4):590–605. Available from:

4.  Angelino D, Godos J, Ghelfi F, Tieri M, Titta L, Lafranconi A, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and health outcomes: an umbrella review of observational studies. [Internet]. 2019 Aug 18 [cited 2023 May 11];70(6):652–67.

5.  Pennington JAT, Fisher RA. Classification of fruits and vegetables. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2009 Dec 1;22(SUPPL.):S23–31.

6.  Hernández-García F, Carbonell-Barrachina ÁA. Quinces [Internet]. Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Fruits and Vegetables. Elsevier; 2020 [cited 2023 May 11]. 631–643 p.

7.  Munekata PES, Pérez-Álvarez JÁ, Pateiro M, Viuda-Matos M, Fernández-López J, Lorenzo JM. Satiety from healthier and functional foods. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2021 Jul 1;113:397–410.

8.  Clemente-Suárez VJ, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Martín-Rodríguez A, Ramos-Campo DJ, Redondo-Flórez L, Tornero-Aguilera JF. The Burden of Carbohydrates in Health and Disease. Nutrients 2022, Vol 14, Page 3809 [Internet]. 2022 Sep 15 [cited 2023 May 11];14(18):3809

9.  Benelam B, Wyness L. Hydration and health: a review. Nutr Bull [Internet]. 2010 Mar 1 [cited 2023 May 13];35(1):3–25. Available from:

10. Bray GA. Etiology and Prevalence of Obesity. The Genetics of Obesity [Internet]. 2020 Aug 11 [cited 2023 May 11];17–33.

11. Solbrig L, Jones R, Kavanagh D, May J, Parkin T, Andrade J. People trying to lose weight dislike calorie counting apps and want motivational support to help them achieve their goals. Internet Interv. 2017 Mar 1;7:23–31.

12. Thomas DM, Gonzalez MC, Pereira AZ, Redman LM, Heymsfield SB. Time to Correctly Predict the Amount of Weight Loss with Dieting. J Acad Nutr Diet [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 May 13];114(6):857. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC4035446/

13. Most J, Redman LM. Impact of calorie restriction on energy metabolism in humans. Exp Gerontol. 2020 May 1;133:110875.

14. Cummings JH, Edmond LM, Magee EA. Dietary carbohydrates and health: do we still need the fiber concept? Clinical Nutrition Supplements. 2004 Jan 1;1(2):5–17. 

15. Ledikwe JH, Blanck HM, Khan LK, Serdula MK, Seymour JD, Tohill BC, et al. Dietary energy density is associated with energy intake and weight status in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2006 Jun 1 [cited 2023 May 14];83(6):1362–8

16.  Pinckard K, Baskin KK, Stanford KI. Effects of Exercise to Improve Cardiovascular Health. Front Cardiovasc Med [Internet]. 2019 Jun 4 [cited 2023 May 14];6:69. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!